Discover organ donation facts – at any age
  • Tuesday 11 March 2014

The need for organ and tissue donation does not discriminate.

Both young and old may one day need life-saving transplant surgery or may one day be able to become an organ and tissue donor.

The vital importance of knowing your wishes and letting your family know was highlighted today at Nambour Hospital where Mayor Mark Jamieson publicly supported the campaign to Have the chat that saves lives.

Demonstrating the enormous range of people who may be touched by organ donation, baby Cooper Watson and Sunshine Coast resident Barbara DeRidder shared their kidney transplant journeys today.

15-month-old Cooper was born with polycystic kidney disease and was successfully transplanted late last year after the generous donation of a kidney.

Meanwhile, Barbara received her precious gift of life 35 years ago, and is still living an active and full life thanks to the decision made by an anonymous family regarding organ donation.

Mayor Jamieson said today’s event wrapped up a national DonateLife Week campaign urging all Australians to discover the facts about organ and tissue donation and register their decision on the Australian Organ Donor Register.

"Clearly, organ donation remains a whole of life issue for every one of us,” he said.

“Whether you support it or not, now is the time to find the facts and let your family know your donation decision.”

Sunshine Coast Organ Donation Specialist Shona McDonald said having a memorable conversation with your loved ones can relieve them of an enormous burden if the time ever arose to consider organ and tissue donation.

“In our position, we know that life can change within a heartbeat,” she said.

“Families who have already discussed organ and tissue donation in the same way they make their will, make it an easy choice. Their family can simply observe your wishes rather than having to make an agonising decision about what you might have wanted.”